Are you camera-ready?!  Top 5 Tips for Teams, Zoom or Skype Online Interviews

Are you camera-ready?!  Top 5 Tips for Teams, Zoom or Skype Online Interviews 

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world forever. Going out for meals, going to the office and working, and even meeting friends will never be the same again. The world has undergone a seismic shift in the past few months. All that has been familiar to us, along with our learned patterns of behaviour, has been forced to change on an ongoing basis, and we have to keep adapting in relation to legislation dictating how we can work, who we can work with, and whether we can work at all.  So, it is hardly surprising that COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way people look for jobs and the way companies look for new employees.

More and more companies are embracing technology to modernise their interview process, especially now during the ongoing pandemic, where face-to-face interviewing has become impossible for many organisations, so if they want to continue hiring for critical roles, they have to look for other solutions.

 

Clients of Naylor George Recruitment have naturally been affected, and have adapted differently to the situation depending upon their sector.  We’ve seen clients make redundancies, furlough staff, reduce hours, have employees work from home, and some who have just continued to work from their offices throughout lockdown due the sector they operate within.

We have all, in one way or another, had to adjust the way we work, and businesses have had to change in ways they may not have envisaged 12 months ago – where once WFH wouldn’t have been a consideration, it has now become the recommended way to operate wherever possible.

Time to embrace technology

Businesses continuing to recruit have faced a number of logistical challenges, however, strict social distancing rules make it difficult to interview in person, HR departments are operating remotely so need to coordinate hiring programmes without the benefit of being physically together as a team, and lots of processes have had to happen over video.

Most of the organisations that we work with opt to interview staff via Microsoft Teams or Zoom, although Teams, in many cases, does appear to be taking the lead somewhat, particularly when there is more than one person involved in the process.  It is also now being used to conduct assessments and it is part of the whole onboarding and WFH process.

Teams, Zoom or Skype – what does that mean for anyone going through the interview process?

Video interviews will be around for many years to come, and even after the coronavirus is over, they’ll still be popular.  In other words, the sooner you get comfortable with the format, the better off you will be.  You can set yourself up for success by following a few simple steps:

  1. Lights, Camera, Action!

Ensure that you have downloaded Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Skype prior to embarking on your search for a new job or change of career.

The chances are very high that interviews, or at least first stage interviews, will be conducted via one of these platforms.  You never know whether that last minute job application you submitted on a Sunday night will result in an interview on Monday afternoon.  To be prepared is everything.

Ideally downloading onto a laptop and ensuring that you can navigate easily – make sure you know how to log on, use the audio, the camera and adjust the volume /mute and unmute.  Sadly, we’ve had a couple of candidates fall at the first hurdle as they’ve struggled to log on, which in turn has generated concern regarding remote working, so it really is worth getting prepped in advance.

Do make sure that you have a strong internet signal and that it’s not affected by others in the house / vicinity using various pieces of tech that could have a negative impact on its strength.

  1. Preparing your own interview environment

Find a good location where you know that you won’t get disturbed or interrupted.   We’ve all seen the clips on TV this year of politicians being interrupted (https://youtu.be/Mh4f9AYRCZY ) during a live interview, and laughed.  However, it is far better to plan ahead to ensure these situations are avoided.  Any break in flow during an interview can be off-putting for both parties and subsequently detrimental to your interview.   It’s also important to ensure that your mobile phone is switched off.

  1. All dressed up!

Make sure that you are dressed accordingly, whether that’s in a business suit, a smart-casual outfit, or uber casual, depending on the role you are applying for.  I would suggest that aiming for smart-casual is most appropriate unless you’re having an interview for a highbrow professional role.  And I don’t mean just the top half of you either –  make sure you’re clothed from head to toe, as you never know when you might need to stand up!

  1. Gliding into action

Assuming that you are tech-savvy and geared up in that respect, you need to then turn your focus to the interview itself.  Treat remote / virtual interviews with the same respect that you would treat a face-to-face interview.   Here are a few basic pointers:

  • Do your research – ensure that you know about the company and why you want to work for them; where possible, find out a little about the people who are conducting the interview – the internet and LinkedIn are great sources of information
  • Understand the job fully and why you want it, and what you can bring to the organisation that mirrors / matches their requirements, i.e. how they would benefit by employing you specifically
  • Arrive in the meeting room in good time, and allow plenty of time for the interview itself
  • Be curious – have plenty of questions ready
  • Have a notebook to hand with your questions and / or to take notes
  • Be enthusiastic and demonstrate your interest in the opportunity
  1. Star attraction

Know yourself and your CV inside out.  Be clear, transparent, and concise with your responses and answers to questions.  Vagueness generates an uncertainty in the interviewer’s mind.

“But to my questions he gave replies so vague that one could not tell whether they came from the mountains or the sea.” ― Sōseki Natsume, Kokoro 

 Good luck!!